Blood Pack Vol. 6.66 released!

It's that time of the year once again! A new year and a new compilation album celebrating our 6th birthday as a webzine.

Review: Various Artists – 'We're In This Together: A Tribute To Nine Inch Nails'

VARIOUS ARTISTS 'We're In This Together: A Tribute To Nine Inch Nails' TRIBULATIONS

Review: Various Artists – 'We Reject: A Tribute To Bile'


Review: Ritual Aesthetic – 'Wound Garden'


Review: Axegrinder – 'Satori'


Friday 30 August 2013

The weekly compendium 30/09/2013

Its been a short but productive week here at Intravenous Magazine. Though a couple of writers seem to have been struck by some kind of ancient Egyptian curse that causes laptops to die, we've still kept up with the output!

Here's what we had for you this week...

Lot's of news from the likes of Ost+Front, Accessory, Jarboe and P. Emerson Williams, and Static Distortion Records. As well as reviews of the returns of Pride And Fall, and Naked Lunch.

While over on Facebook there has been new music from Youth Code, Inertia and Draconic Elimination Projects. As well as news from Nine Inch Nails and J.G.Thirlwell and a brand new video from gloomy Brooklynites A Pale Horse Named Death.

Keep an eye on the site for our verdict on the new Nine Inch Nails album, as well as a look at 125 years of Jack The Ripper in a new feature.

In the meantime, here's something to get you in the right mood...

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Thursday 29 August 2013

Review: Naked Lunch – 'Alone' (Single)


Naked Lunch may be an unfamiliar name to most, and with good reason, it's been thirty years since they were last active. But in that brief time they built up an impressive live resumé playing alongside the likes of DAF, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, B Movie, and Clock DVA. As well as having an infamously banned single in the form of 'Rabies' to their name. However, now with a new line-up completed by multi-instrumentalist Jet Noir and new single 'Alone' in tow, the band is reinvigorated and ready to cement their legacy.

As a single, 'Alone' is a very good starting point. Ambient and orchestral, with hanging synths, semi-whispered vocals and a steady, but danceable beat it has a definite club appeal whilst retaining the old school punky charm of the bands batcave origins. The fact that the band have been haunting the live circuit again for a couple of years prior to this single has really given them a chance to immerse themselves in what is going on today in order to naturally evolve their sound. The end result of which is very promising.

In terms or production the single may have a decidedly old-school vibe to it. However it is nicely mixed and doesn't fall into the trap of trying to sound like their early recordings. Instead it sounds bang up-to-date.

'Alone' is a good first step for Naked Lunch. It has a lot of different things going on, but it remains balanced and expertly executed. Hopefully a full-length album will display the same kind of variety and attention to detail... and arrive a little sooner this time around.

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Review: Pride And Fall – 'Of Lust And Desire'

'Of Lust And Desire' 

Pride And Fall released their last album 'In My Time Of Dying' back in 2007 before receding into six years of hiatus to focus on real life. Six years in music is a long time by anyone's standards. It doesn't matter if you were at the pinnacle of your genre as Pride And Fall had been. There is always someone ready to take your place. Now after a return to the stage at Infest already under their belt, the trio unleash 'Of Lust And Desire' to remind the world who they are.

Pride And Fall's futurepop tag always felt a little limited. The band always had a gothic melancholy to their sound that set them apart. And this is quite evident once again on 'Of Lust And Desire' as the sombre pace of the songs combine with the distinctive resonance of Sigve Monsen's vocals.
That's not to say it doesn't have it's harder moments. The likes of 'Hollow', 'The The Lights On', 'Fear Your Love' and 'Reborn' are pure ebm-fueled dance-floor fodder. But it is that sombreness on songs like 'Passionate Pain', 'The Comforter', 'The Void – Let Me Go First' and 'Epilogue' that make Pride And Fall so endearing. Their emotional resonance permeates the throb of the bass and find perfect expression in Monsen's gothic croon.

The album attempts to pick up pretty much where they left off in 2007. But it feels more well balanced and accomplished with songs perfectly crafted for both the dance-floor as well as ones for more introverted listening. The break seems to have given them more perspective and a few extra tricks to pick from rather than simply trying to fall back into the same old habits.

As you'd expect, the album displays a nice and modern sounding production job for the most part. Though the mix sometimes feels a little off with Monsen's vocals coming off a bit on the quiet side in a fair few places, which dulls the edges of some otherwise strong tracks.

This may be classed as a “come back” album, but it honestly doesn't feel like Pride And Fall have been away. 'Of Lust And Desire' is a more mature and considered album, but they've lost none of their bite and should have no problems in rediscovering their audience.

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Wednesday 28 August 2013

UPDATE: Intravenous Magazine sponsors 'The Best Of British Industrial

Static Distortion Records brings you 'THE BEST OF BRITISH' Industrial music, in association with Intravenous Magazine, Brutal Resonance and Juggernaut Services.

In an update to the previously announced lineup, Uberbyte's headlining slot will now be filled by the equally awesome XP8 at London's legendary Slimelight on September 28th 2012 with the incendiary support of Cease2Xist, The .invalid & Digital Deformation for a night of hell raising live music showcasing some of the finest talents the UK has to offer.

You wanted new music...You wanted a rocking live show...You wanted the best...and now you have it!

Tickets are £7 in advance from and will be £10 on the door, and all tickets will get you access to the notorious Slimelight club after.

ALSO, all Advance Ticket buyers will be entered into a prize draw to win a random prize once a month, so the earlier you buy, the better your chances of winning FREE STUFF :D

So what are you waiting for?

Support your scene, and support UK Industrial!!!

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Jarboe and P. Emerson Williams announce world tour

Avant garde musician Jarboe (Swans) and multi-media artist and musician P. Emerson Williams (Veil Of Thorns, Choronzon, Kkoalgulaa) have announced plans for an ambitious world tour. The tour, will cover 21 countries in ninety days beginning at the Stella Natura: The Light of Ancestral Fires festival, Sierra Nevada, California and ending 21st December in Moscow.

The tour will see Jarboe joined by Williams on acoustic guitar for an experimental acoustic set that will reinterpret the music of Swans and World of Skin as well as newer material from 2013 self-released 'DREAMS' CD and the 'INDEMNITY' series, which is set to be released on vinyl in September by Burning World Records.

The tour will also see Jarboe's first ever dates in Australia and New Zealand where the duo will be joined by Scott Kelly (Neurosis) for a run of special collaborative performances.

In advance of the tour, P. Emerson Williams has released 'Det Er Stille Under Vatnet', an experimental and stripped back acoustic guitar album which demonstrates the musical style that will underpin the tour. While the wardrobe for the tour was designed and hand sewn by Ovate, an independent clothing line of designer Audrey Cantwell and made in Montreal.

Tour Dates:

Sun 22.9.13 at Stella Natura: The Light of Ancestral Fires, Sierra Nevada
Mon 23.9.13 at Cafe Du Nord in SF w/Faun Fables, Amber Asylum
Fri 27.9.13 at Analog in Portland w/Helen Money, Lost Lockets, Behalf
Sun 29.9.13 at Chop Suey in Seattle w/Helen Money, Eye of Nix
Thu 07.11.13 The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, Australia.
Fri 08.11.13 The Annandale Hotel, Sydney, Australia.
Sat 09.11.13 The Zoo, Brisbane, Australia.
Sun 10.11.13 The Rosemont Hotel, Perth, Australia.
Mon 11.11.13 Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, Australia.
Tue 12.11.13 Bodega Bar, Wellington, New Zealand.
Wed 13.11.13 The Kings Arms, Auckland, New Zealand.
Thu 14.11.13 Churchills Tavern, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Fri 15.11.13 Sammy's, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Mon 18.11.13 The Exchange, Bristol, UK.
Tue 19.11.13 The Courtyard @ The Rainbow, Birmingham, UK.
Wed 20.11.13 Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow, UK.
Thu 21.11.13 Sacred Trinity Church, Manchester, UK.
Fri 22.11.13 Blå, Oslo, Norway.
Sat 23.11.13 St Leonard's Church, London, UK.
Sun 24.11.13 Winston, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Tue 26.11.13 La Boite, Madrid, Spain.
Wed 27.11.13 ZDB, Lisbon, Portugal.
Thu 28.11.13 Le Bukowski, San Sebastian, Spain.
Fri 29.11.13 Rocksound, Barcelona, Spain.
Sat 30.11.13 SAS, Delémont, Switzerland.
Mon 01.12.13 Marina, Rijeka, Croatia
Tue 03.12.13 LoFi, Milano, Italy.
Wed 04.12.13 Freakout Club, Bologna, Italy.
Thu 05.12.13 Dal Verme, Roma, Italy.
Sat 07.12.13 Six D.O.G.S., Athens, Greece.
Sun 08.12.13 Mavri Trypa, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Tue 10.12.13 Slavianska Beseda, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Wed 11.12.13 Club Control, Bucharest, Romania.
Thu 12.12.13 Rocktogon, Budapest, Hungary.
Fri 13.12.13 Potrva, Prague, Czech Republic.
Sat 14.12.13 Energy of the Sound Festival, Agora, Wroclaw (Breslau), Poland.
Mon 16.12.13 Metro Club, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Tue 17.12.13 Nabaklaba, Riga, Latvia.
Wed 18.12.13 Von Krahl, Tallinn, Estonia.
19.12.13. to be announced (Finland)
Fri 20.12.13 DaDa Club, St Petersburg, Russia.
Sat 21.12.13 16 Tons Club, Moscow, Russia  

For more information on tour dates, please visit the official websites of Jarboe and P.Emerson Williams.

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Tuesday 27 August 2013

Accessory announce 'Resurrection'

EBM legends Accessory return with their latest album 'Resurrection'. On 27th September 2013 via Out Of Line records.

The duo's latest offering will be available as a double-CD released crammed full of dance-friendly tunes and remixes from the likes of Cephalgy, Nydhog and Electrovot.

Track List:

01. Burn (In-Tro)
02. Squeeze My Heart
03. Dance Hard Beating
04. Outrun The Gun
05. Wake Up
06. Pulse
07. Nemesis
08. Faceless
09. Stand Up And Fight
10. False Hope (Let´s Get Dirty Mix)
11. Hate´s gonna F*** You
12. Deeper On The Floor

01. Nimm Mich
02. False Hope (Original Mix)
03. Little Girl
04. Outrun The Gun (Electrovot Remix)
05. Bang Like A Kick Drum
06. Flickering Lights
07. Squeeze My Heart (Lounge Back Version)
08. Outrun The Gun (Remixed by Cephalgy)
09. Pulse (Very Serious Mix by Cyanide Regime)
10. Outrun The Gun (8prova Remix by Nydhog)
11. Pulse (Remixed by Davantage)
12. Stand Up And Fight (Hardstyle Mix)
13. Dropout

The album is available to pre-order now through the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Ost+Front To Release 'Bitte Schlag Mich'

Neue Deutsche Härte stars Ost+Front have announced the release of their latest EP 'Bitte Schlag Mich' for 27th September 2013, via Out Of Line records.

The precursor for the band's forthcoming album 'Olympia', the EP will be available on CD and features contributions and remixes from the likes of Saltatio Mortis, Lord Of The Lost and Rabia Sorda.

Track List:
1. Bitte schlag' mich
2. Out of the dark
3. Bitte schlag' mich (Saltatio Mortis Coverversion)
4. Silikon
5. Bitte schlag' mich (Zerschlagen von Lord of the lost)
6. Denkelied (Orchesterfassung)
7. Bitte schlag' mich (Okusa Rmx)
8. Bitte schlag' mich (Rabia Sorda Version)
9. Bitte schlag' mich (xiii-h-v fmpankow remix)

The EP is available to pre-order now through the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Friday 23 August 2013

The weekly compendium 23/08/2013

There's finally a bank holiday in sight! And as such We'll be taking full advantage of the extra day. But normal service will be resumed next Tuesday. In the meantime, here is what we had on offer this week.

There were news stories from the likes of Project F, Diamond Version and Mlada Fronta. And a whole slew of reviews from M'era Luna, AFI, Covenant, Fatal Casualties and Doganov. We also cast our eyes forward to this weekend's Infest Festival.

Over on the facebook page we've seen lots of videos from the likes of In Death It Ends, Naked Lunch and Apoptygma Berzerk. There has been new single art from The Death Notes, tour dates from Rhombus, free music from Ssick, Noir, Pride And Fall and Covenant, and a look back at 20 years of Type O Negative's 'Bloody Kisses'.

That's it for this week. But I won't leave you without a video, so here is the whole of Apop's set at M'era Luna last weekend.

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ESO announce final tour!

ESO tour for the final time playing Europe
 and the UK (including Birmingham)

Dark rockers ESO have announced that the next tour, scheduled to start with an acoustic set in Croyden, is to be their last.  ESO (starting life as EsOterica)  stated "This final tour will be a celebration of everything we've achieved together and so we will be doing some extra special songs for these farewell shows."

Beginning with an exclusive acoustic set, set in Croyden on the 13th september, and then journeying to The Netherlands and France, the band will then return to the UK to play in citys like Birmingham and Bournemouth before coming to a storming finale in London.

The band, famous for such classics as 'Don't rely on anyone', 'The Divide' and the astounding cover of Sarah McLachlan's 'Silence' also said "We are so proud of everything we have achieved and are incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped us and especially to all our fans - you really are the best."   Last month, drummer, brother and original member Luke Keast announced his departure after the tour.

A live DVD is set to be released sometime in October and lead singer Toby Keast planning on further projects in the future.  

For Details on the final tour dates, visit: ESO's facebook page

-I would personally like to say that I have followed these boys since the early days and it will be a shame to see them go.  I have gone to every tour since I moved to the Midlands, and they have always been great to me.  Never has a band treated me with such respect and I will be by their side for the final tour documenting their last stint around the UK.  

"Trust me, you won't want to miss it!"- ESO

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Thursday 22 August 2013

Review: Doganov – 'Something Dark To Dance To' / 'History'

'Something Dark To Dance To' / 'History' 

The Belgian electro-rock band Doganov formed in 2010, but have already finely honed their sound into something rather exciting. Blending, industrial, ebm, metal and rock the band are heavy and yet danceable. Think Gothminister, meets 'Sehnsucht' era Rammstein, with intermittent dashes of new wave hooks sprinkled liberally throughout. It sounds like commercial gold, but bafflingly the band remained unsigned.

Across the six tracks on the band's promotional EP, they display a well-rounded sense of songwriting that, while guitar heavy, is punctuated by driving synth melodies and hard dance beats. Tracks like 'Endear You', 'Drain The Ocean' and 'I Am The Dark' are astoundingly catchy songs that will work quite nicely in a heavier club set or in front of a live audience.

The 'History' single builds nicely on the band's big tanzmetal meets ebm sound with a more melodic outing that incorporates a little of Blutengel's vampire-pop atmosphere into its formula. While the b-side 'Eyes Only' feels even more dance orientated and possesses perhaps the best chorus the band has recorded yet.

Both the EP and single are extremely gratifying listens. However the production and mixing isn't quite there yet and the distorted guitars tend to meld with the harsher synth sounds under the compression of the mp3 format. Yet that doesn't detract from what is essentially a fundamentally solid outing for what is a relatively new band.

The band have a great ear for riffs, the synth melodies are excellent, the dance-orientated pace of the songs gives them a little more range in appeal, and the vocals are performed with passion throughout. This should be a wet dream for any A&R man worth his salt. So labels, sit up and take notice and don't expect Doganov to be unsigned for much longer.

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Artoffact to re-release Mlada Fronta back catalogue

French electronic musician Rémy Pelleschi, under the guise of Mlada Fronta, has been releasing some truly innovative industrial music over the years. With the club hit 'XB-33', and album 'High Tension' to his name, Mlada Fronta's discography has been nothing short of impressive. And, over the course of a near 20 year career, Pelleschi has also taken the project to stages around the world with over 500 concerts and appearances at festivals, including DeciBELIO, Maschinenfest, and Coma among others.

Now on 3rd September 2013, Artoffact Records is releasing 'Every Thing', a ten-CD boxset that collects all previous Mlada Fronta releases, including bonus tracks, remixes, extra mp3 files, and all video material together. The boxset comes as a hard cover digibook including 20-page booklet, all designed by Pelleschi. With each release also remastered in 32bit 96kHz (hi-definition) using only state of the art analogue and digital hardware at Pelleschi's own QFG Studios. The boxset will also be made available as a digital release on iTunes, complete with exclusive PDF booklets.

To pre-order the 'Every Thing' boxset, please visit the Artoffact website. For more information on Mlada Fronta, please visit the official website.

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Diamond Version announce world tour

The collaborative project between the duo of Alva Noto and Byetone (Raster Noton’s co-founders) known as Diamond Version, have announced a worldwide tour throughout this Autumn which will kick off with their début UK performance on 19th September at the Village Underground.

The tour is in support of their latest release 'EP5', the final instalment in a series of EPs that have unfolded across the year preceding the release of their album. Their previous EPs will be collated into one bundle on 2nd September with their début album due out in 2014, which will feature a selection of the EP tracks alongside unreleased tracks and new versions with guest vocalists.

19 September - London, Village Underground
21 September - Nantes, Scopitone Festival (France)
27 September - Den Haag, Todays Art Festival (Netherlands)
29 September – Seattle, Decibel Festival (USA)
4 October - Mexico City, Mutek Festival (Mexico)
1 November - Osaka, Conpass (Japan)
2 November - Kyoto, Metro (Japan)
3 November - Tokyo, Liquidroom (Japan)
8 November - Berlin, Berghain (Germany)
9 November - Torino, Club To Club (Italy)
15 November - Roma, Brancaleone (Italy)

'EP5' as well as the previous releases are available now via Mute records. For more information on Diamond Version, please visit their official website.

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Wednesday 21 August 2013

Preview: Infest 2013 - It could be the End of an Era...

Two weeks ago the organisers from Bradford, signalled the possible nail in the coffin for the festival. With increased competition from a new festival emerging next year around the same date. The organisers in the interest of putting on a great time, without incurring losses have decided to for the moment to let infest 2014 not take place.

Based on the University of Bradford the more than a decade old festival has grown from one handful of bands, to a selection of the alternative scene’s finest. What also made this festival a great end to the summer was the addition of accomadation based on the university at cheap price, even better right next door to The Union club/bar, where the events, merch and bars are based.

The great thing that is loved at Infest are the late afternoon scheduled kick off, with the first artist being on at 4pm. Leaving your morning with a late lie in bed, after the combination of dancing till your Cyberdog wear is slathered in sweat, or your pinstriped trousers have become two tight to pull off by oneself.

The Artist line-up this year contains the likes of Headliners Covenant, Pride & Fall, XMH and Inertia. New comers to the alternative scene’s main eye include France’s DA Octopusss and Scotland’s Metaltech

Sweden's Covenant will headline the final night of the festival

The price of the ticket is £50 for the weekend and just £40 for the entire weekends accommodation, which will probably amount to less then the train ticket!

Infest is a great opportunity of the UK scene to save the expenses involved with flying to mainland Europe, and instead convene in the middle and listen together to the music they love. Infest each year is reaching its prime. The factor which makes this festival so successful is the ability for it to be just relaxing enough. No demanding time frames, not too many bands, close enough to civilization and slumber. So what can we see for 2014?

This week, be prepared!

DA Octopusss will see you there...

For more information including schedules, please visit the official Infest 2013 website.

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Tuesday 20 August 2013

Review: Fatal Casualties – 'Paria'


There is a trend these days for bands that were kicking about in the '80s and early '90s and missed out on their chance to be written into the annals of music history to reunite and have another crack at it. This has yielded some great results with the likes of The March Violets and Defeat being two that spring immediately to mind. Now joining the ranks of the recently revived is Stockholm's Fatal Casualties. Originally active between 1986 and 1991, the duo of Stefan Ljungdahl and Ivan Hirvonen have reunited to unleash the début EP that never was.

The band's first official outing, 'Paria', mixes old school attitude and modern production as the duo unleash six cuts of industrial-tinged ebm that recalls the likes of The Klinik (actually a lot of Dirk Ivans' projects), Cabaret Voltaire and Skinny Puppy. It's dark yet danceable, with songs like 'Aim', 'Drifting' and 'Glas' sounding like genre classics. While 'En Nervkostym', 'Slippery' and 'Toys' turn up the experimentalism for what will undoubtedly be some great live tracks.

The songs have a very old school vibe and are built around distortion and noise punctuated by dance beats and melodic synths. Yet it doesn’t sound outmoded. Ljungdahl and Hirvonen have put the work in and made the songs sound as good as possible to compete in the modern scene.

It's a damn shame it's taken Fatal Casualties as long as this to release an EP, but it is a fine début to make. Lets just hope it doesn’t take as long for them to come back with a more substantial full-length studio effort.

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Review: Covenant – 'Leaving Babylon'

'Leaving Babylon'

The recent EP release 'Last Dance' was an intriguing one. In the aftermath of Daniel Myer's departure from the band there was a question mark hanging over Covenant for a while. But 'Last Dance' for the moment showed there was light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time, every member of the band contributed to the songwriting duties for a brief but diverse outing that displayed a fresh edge to their signature sound. But now the true test comes in the form of the band's latest studio album 'Leaving Babylon'.

From the opening strains of the title track, it's evident that the band have continued the momentum from the EP. The backbone of the album is made up of the tried and tested reverential synth euphoria we've come to expect from the band. Which they execute perfectly on tracks like 'Last Dance', 'Prime Movers', 'For Our Time' and 'Ignorance And Bliss'.

But there are some quirky departures that retain the band's dance credentials while at the same time pushing their sound a bit further than in recent years. The harpsichord of 'Thy Kingdom Come', the sporadic guitar and chip glitches of 'I Walk Slow', the piano lead on the closing ballad 'Not To Be Here', and even the ambient drone of the hidden track 'Leaving Babylon II' all hark back to the more adventurous years of Covenant with a distinct emotional immediacy.

This is a very strong release. The band have shown us their cards and they have a pretty decent hand. But despite the renewed focus, there is still the feeling that they're just holding something back. The songs are – as always – well written, performed, produced and overall a little more mid-paced than we're used to. But they don't really push things as far as they hinted at on the 'Last Dance' EP. Instead they've opted for a slow build and revealed just enough to pique people's interests to see where they take it from here, but more than enough to restore your faith.  

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Monday 19 August 2013

Project F unveil new video and tour dates

Canadian industrial rockers Project F have released a music video for the single 'Room 13' from their début album 'Skins'. The video was helmed by bassist William Hicks and produced by the band.

In addition the band have announced a string of domestic tour dates as well as thenews that they're working on an new EP.

Tour Dates:

August 23rd - Sherbrooke
August 25th - Quebec city
August 29th - Trois-Rivières
August 31st - Ottawa
September 7th - St-Jérôme
October 26th - Montreal

For more information on Project F, please visit their official website.

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Live: M'era Luna 2013 : Day 2

Hildesheim Flugplatz 
Day 2 : Sunday 11th August 2013 

It has to be said that Day one hit some heights, it really did. The mainstage programme was mouth-watering (especially the back to back of Mesh/Saltatio Mortis/Cruxshadows/Mono Inc.) and even HIM delivered the goods.

Assorted bands on Day two could have gone either way – which 69 Eyes would turn up? What sort of set would Apoptygma Berzerk churn out? Could Zeromancer fill the void left by IAMX’s withdrawal? Well, these are amongst the questions we set to find out on our picks for day two.

Coppelius : we're not steampunk we're 1920's reenactors
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
Coppelius were third on the mainstage and the first to develop any sort of crowd.  Quite a large crowd for lunchtime – had it not been that most of the following bands had similar crowds then they’d have a big argument for a higher bill position.   They’d fit in very well within the Steampunk scene, clothing and attire is akin to 1920’s Berlin (so it says in their bio) as they set out with courteous gentlemen and their Butler. Even their stage crew are in appropriate dress! They come armed with Cello, Double Bass and clarinets – but – boy – do they rock with them! They are really on the ball with the aesthetics and presentation and no wonder they got such a big response.

The 69 Eyes : yeah, we're Vampires.... honest...
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
Next up, sponsored by Just for Men, is Dad-Rock assemble The 69 Eyes. They’re today’s embarrassment. As per their last appearance here, they drop most of their recent output and instead take most of their set from the ‘Blessed Be’ album, which is now thirteen years old. So, it’s all ‘Gothic Girl’, ‘Brandon Lee’ and ‘The Chair’ kinda Gawth set. They’re really getting a bit too old to still be doing the whole “Helsinki Vampires” bullshit, sorry guys – vampires don’t age: you do!  You even now dance round the stage like a Dad dancing at a wedding. It’s just not graceful, it’s not even disgraceful in a rock n roll way. With the drummer dropping his sticks constantly and more cliché’s than Spinal Tap – all we’re missing is a mini Stonehenge with Dwarves dancing round it (oh wait, that was Ost+Front yesterday). They were MUCH better last time, but this is just cringe worthy.

Another band having issues with new material is Clan of Xymox – it’s not going down very well. Surprising, ‘Emily’ is a cracking tune – it’s got that core hint of what CoX have always been about, with some fresher sounding synths to keep them relevant! A lacklustre response to the early part of the set does little to lift glum Goth faces, but it does become a set of two halves, they can barely get a clap going in the first half, but when they peddle out ‘Louise’ and ‘Jasmine and Rose’ it’s full on Gothic Party Time. Their cover of ‘Venus’ rounds off the set emphatically, a far cry from their tough start. 

Apoptygma Berzerk : Back to the Future(Pop)
Photo by Bernd Zahn
It’s fairly interesting if you follow the history of Apoptygma Berzerk – arguably, at their peak, one of the biggest bands on the scene. Hell, they played places like the main room in Nottingham Rock City back in the day – they headlined Infest… while last year lost out to a slot at Infest on a band poll won by XP8. Obviously XP8 are a great band – but it shows how APB have lost some stock over the years. Their secret has always been a clever one, rather than being completely innovative off their own backs, they’ve looked to what is popular and successful and just done it better. So they’ve swung from darkwave into future-pop into indie-synth territory.  It hasn’t always worked though, each swing has cost them fans as well as made them new ones – so when they swung into future-pop with ‘Welcome to Earth’ they picked up more fans than they lost – but however great ‘You and Me Against The World’ or ‘Rocket Science’ actually were, they swung away from their fanbase and didn’t really do enough to make new fans. Today, they’re suffering a form of amnesia as they’ve forgotten anything from the last two albums and have gone back to the future-pop – ‘Eclipse’, ‘Starsign’ and ‘Until the End of the World’ are all pure party anthems.   The band has seen a few line-up changes since the last album, Angel left the band but is now back on guitar is a temporary measure whilst the absence of Gier on keyboards is filled with Stephan’s brother Jonas. Jonas is very lively on stage and is good as working the crowd as Stephan, good job he’s got his own band else Stephan would be under threat!  
The show is carried out with minimal production, no screens or OTT light shows of days gone by – the focus solely on the songs and the partying. Although the last two albums were disregarded, there is one nod of new material as the band played their new single, ‘Major Tom (Coming Home)’ – a cover of the Peter Schilling track. It’s another uplifting track to bounce along to, the song was a big hit in Germany and the crowd gobbles up Apop’s version.

Zeromancer : we're not IAMX, but we can rock...
Photo by Jesko Doering
Poor Chris Corner has had prolonged ill-health and sadly this has meant IAMX have had to cancel a few shows, including M’era Luna. This has meant that Zeromancer have stepped in, at under a week’s notice. Eek! However, the end response is they are genuinely humbled by the response. “We’re sorry we’re not IAMX” greeted with a heckle of “We forgive you!” and it is wall to wall people in the Hangar. Of course, this is helped that Zeromancer bring their A-Game.  They knew they’d have to work harder and that is exactly what they do, they pour themselves into the hour long performance. They also do this whilst avoiding just doing a ‘hits’ or ‘early years’ set – so yeah, everyone knows ‘God Bless the Models’ and ‘Clone Your Lover’ – but the likes of ‘The Hate Alphabet’, ‘Auf Wiedersehen, Boy’ and ‘Sinners International’ are well received. Perhaps these albums have been better promoted in Germany than they have in the UK… there’s a bit of range to their industrial-metal stylings, sure there are heavier and upbeat moments like the classic ‘Dr Online’, but they pull off the more calm and melodic ‘Cupula’ and ‘The Tortured Artist’ with a sleak perfection. They probably didn’t envision such a good response to their set, but with the effort they put into it, it was certainly deserved.

A quick passing note on Front 242. They don’t work in broad daylight.

Nightwish : Bye, bye beautiful?!
Photo by Bernd Zahn
The final band of M’era Luna 2013 was Nightwish – it’s also the last date on their Imaginaerum world tour and subsequently billed as Floor Jansen’s last date fronting the band. For those not following the story, Annette left the band on mutual agreement prior to the Imaginaerum tour and Floor stood in as a temporary measure (well, temporary being the year and a half the tour needed!). There is, however, something missing in the emotion tonight. It’s either not that big a deal she’s departing, or maybe they’ve already discussed her staying on longer – it certainly didn’t have an emotional farewell feel about it. Vocally, she would be a great addition to the band – her range from high to low is much wider than Annette’s and her renditions of tracks like ‘Ghost Love Score’ and ‘Dark Chest of Wonders’ are simply mouth-watering. Not even the rain, the only real downpour  of the weekend, dampens the spirits of the thousands who’ve come to watch them. It seems now that Floor has become a “fans choice” for new frontwoman, as she wins over the crowd with such ease and generates such a good reception for each number. Sometimes bands can look tired at the end of long tours, but Nightwish generally look on the ball. Marco’s booming vocals explode on ‘I Wish I Had an Angel’ and the band hit top form as they power through many of their bigger numbers. It’s an impressive spectacle to end the weekend, not just is there the power of the music, but the video screens take you (literally) through their rollercoaster ride. 
The set finishes with ‘Last Ride of the Day’ – certainly an apt song to finish a set with, although is it more apt because it’s Floor’s last show? It’s supposed to be – but the farewell speech seemed to be lacking something, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if she stays on as a vocalist for sure.

So, M’era Luna 2013. Sold out, 25,000 people. Some utterly excellent performances over the weekend.  Not bad for a dying scene. Of course this year they had unlocked some bands that were overdue a return rather than relying on the same old names. 2014 will be their 15th Anniversary, the first twelve names have been announced: I wonder what else will be announced to keep up this momentum?

Kevin Morris

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Review: AFI - 'I Hope You Suffer' / '17 Crimes'

'I Hope You Suffer' / '17 Crimes' 

It’s been four years since AFI have released any material since 'Crash Love' back in 2009, whilst Davey and Jade continued with their side project Blaqk Audio releasing their second album 'Bright Black Heaven', as well as the other members pursuing their own goals, it begged the question when would AFI come back?

Thankfully the wait is over and they have returned with not one but two new releases 'I Hope You Suffer' and '17 Crimes' which also features as a remix on the new The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones movie soundtrack out at the end of August. Their return has come as a breath of fresh air, AFI are sounding better than ever, after acknowledging the world ebbed in mystery and haunting poetry we were teased with a series of small trailers to promote their new work, over the weeks anticipation has grown. Now with their first single release 'I Hope You Suffer', out now via iTunes and just recently the release of '17 Crimes' gives us a glorious insight as to what's to come from the highly anticipated release of their new album 'Burials' due for release on the 22nd October 2013. AFI seem ready to set the world on fire once more.

With an unnerving opening sequence 'I Hope You Suffer' punches out a furiously dark and immerse cry! With its beautiful hooks, melodic choir break down and Davey’s impeccable voice with its first play alone it will leave you with shivers and eager for more. It's a hauntingly stark and direct rock song, manifesting itself into a harsh and evocative piece which seems to have been conveyed reminiscent from that of earlier works from the 'Sing the Sorrow' era. 

While I am inclined to agree '17 Crimes' seems completely the opposite with fast rhythmical and extraordinarily catchy verses this song holds dear to everything AFI do, more uplifting and highly infectious this will bring out your inner punk adolescence. AFI have always aimed for perfection and so far this really isn’t far from it. This will be AFI’s first album on new label Republic Records, produced by Gil Norton and mixed by Andrew Scheps, whose work includes the likes of Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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Friday 16 August 2013

The weekly compendium 16/08/2013

Well this marks the end of another week at Intravenous Magazine. And it has been a short one due to myself taking some R&R time at the beginning of the week. But we made up for it with LOTS of news stories from the likes of M'era Luna Festival, Pride And Fall, Cabaret Voltaire, Flesh &Fell and Leaether Strip. As well as reviews of the latest album's from Skinjob and Mono Inc. Plus day one of Kev's report back from the afore mentioned M'era Luna festival.

If that wasn't enough, over on facebook we reposted the news that Nine Inch Nails have released the track 'Copy Of A' free through Amazon. There's new music from Sun God and The Cassandra Complex, Danny Elfman is putting on a concert of his work with Tim Burton in time for Halloween, dates for Rabia Sorda's tour in November, Ctrl Alt Del have a preview of the new album streaming, and we're just over a month away from the IVM sponsored 'Best Of British' gig!

FINALLY, there is only one potential space left for the compilation album and it's first come first served, so get in contact quick if you want your band to be featured!

Phew, right, I'm off to go dust off my DJ gear and try to remember how to mix, while the rest of you can get you're fangs into this...

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Thursday 15 August 2013

Review: Mono Inc – 'Nimmermehr'


German quartet Mono Inc. have steadily been making inroads to the UK with their brand of NDH-influenced gothic rock. Now they've changed tactics, scaling back the heavy use of English lyrics and incorporating more of their Teutonic mother tongue. You could build this up as a gamble on their part. But across albums such as 'Voices Of Doom' and 'After The War', they've more than proved their songwriting ability. After all, look at Rammstein; most of their fans around the world can't understand most of their songs yet they're one of the biggest bands in the world.

Well, Mono Inc. might not might not have the reach that Rammstein have, but 'Nimmermehr' will cement their already solid reputation as a band that can deliver. With songs such as 'Heile, Heile Segen ', 'My Deal With God', 'Euathanasia', 'A Better Way To Die', 'Ich Teile Dich Nicht' spanning gothic rock, electro-pop, symphonic metal and NDH influences, there is an awful lot on 'Nimmermehr' to tick most people's boxes. Throw in as well the sublime 'Kein Weg Zu Weit' featuring Joachim Witt, and this album shapes up to be a serious contender. Throughout 'Nimmermehr', Martin Engler gives some of his best vocal performances to date and paired up with Joachim Witt he easily holds his own.

With such diversity it would be easy for the album to come off as disjointed in it's execution. But it isn't. Instead the band have skilfully crafted an album that is designed to tug on a range of emotions. Which it does with great ease. But with ten releases to their name in a decade, it would be stunning if they hadn't honed their abilities to this degree.

After their top-ten outing on 'After The War' last year, 'Nimmermehr' carries a lot of expectation. But rather than shirk from the prospect of trying to top their previous offering and resting on their laurels. Mono Inc. have hit the ground running and used that momentum to freshen up their approach and create another strong album.

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Live: M'era Luna 2013 : Day 1

Hildesheim Flugplatz
Day 1 : Saturday 10th August 2013

Well, last year M’era Luna had a slight dip in attendance as they “only” got 20,000 people through the gates. 2013 and this has been made up for, as the event has sold out! 25,000 people purchased tickets.

Of course, when your headliners include the first appearance of HIM at the festival since the very first event thirteen years ago – and the last performance of Floor Jansen as Nightwish vocalist (or is it…?) then these are factors that can help. However, it’s not as if every other band were playing to three Goths and a whippet… this is a strong line-up and got a deserved strong turnout.

Here are our picks of the bands for Saturday.

Molllust : too early for these ears!
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
As usual, the event is opened by the Newcomer Winners. This year’s winners are Molllust – a slightly over-the-top Opera Metal band from Leipzig. Fronted by Janika Groß they are really just a touch too overblown for this time of the morning! Just a hint too hysterical in places, they’re not the best of recent winners unfortunately.

Lord of the Lost : taking all of our hearts
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
Lord of the Lost seem to be on surprisingly early for their recent achievements in Germany. However, it was only last December that Chris had a throat operation so it’s not impossible that this early slot was by request.  Complete with plenty of charisma, Mr Harms and his merry men plough through their blend of Gothic-Metal, from the stomping ‘Sex on Legs’ to their anthemic ‘Credo’ – which basically ends the set with several thousand people waving their hands and singing “We give our hearts to the Lord of the Lost” like some initiation into some scary religious cult or other. Have no fear kids, LotL are atheists.

Ost+Front : tonight Matthew we wish we were Rammstein
Photo by Bernd Zahn

If LotL had ten minutes too short, Ost+Front had about ten minutes too long. Or 20 minutes too long. Whatever. They’ve gone from being a promising newcomer act when they played in 2011 to, well, an embarrassment really. They don’t really have the songs to complete a 40 minute set and Hermann is a much weaker frontman than Chris was, attempting to make up for the lack of songs with comedy uniforms, throwing dwarves round stage and pelting the audience with chicken is, well… poor. Come on guys, sort this out – you were excellent not two years ago and now you’re just a piss-poor Rammstein tribute act.

Mesh had mentioned on Facebook their schedule for the day. Wake up at 3am. Fly to Hannover. Travel to M’era Luna. Play. Sign stuff. Go back to Hannover. Fly home. Bed by Midnight. It’s almost like a routine.  That was kind of the weakness in their set today, all very, come along to play some songs and leave and it lacked a final edge. The set was made up virtually entirely from tracks from the ‘Automation Baby’ (with the exception of old track ‘You Didn’t Want Me’) and the album was number one in Germany, so hey (or should that be HEY!?) why not? Certainly the bulk of the crowd seems to enjoy this although the set is possibly missing a big hit from it. Although, ‘Born to Lie’ does have the makings of a long-term classic for them.

Saltatio Mortis : more than a pipe dream!
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
If you’ve ever been to a music festival that didn’t have Saltatio Mortis playing then unfortunately you’ve never been to a good music festival. Maybe you thought that Download was 10/10 but it didn’t have SM so therefore can’t be any better than an 8 or 9 out of 10. They are the ultimate feel-good festival band (even if their name does mean "Dance of death") and guess what? No pyro’s, no OTT light shows, no gimmicks, no bullshit. Just A* tunes and A* audience interaction. For three songs in a row the entire audience has their arms in the air, waving or clapping. Add into this Alea’s general energy – leaping around the stage with the band (and going for his trade mark sing-a-song-whilst-crowd-surfing routine) and it’s not just a live show it’s a workout! They’re moving on slightly from their Mittelalter background, still plenty of bagpipes, but rock guitars seem to be creeping in a bit. There is a new album coming so perhaps this signals a slight change in direction for them. Of course, they’re always a band for their sing-a-longs – and the “na, na, na-na-na’s” and “woah-oh-oh-oh’s” can be heard echoing for hours later. You want one of the greatest live bands on the planet right now? Look to Saltatio Mortis!

Cruxshadows : now you see us....
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
Poor Cruxshadows have a tough spot.  Sandwiched between Saltatio Mortis and Mono Inc on the bill.  But, CXS are a natural live act it doesn’t matter if they’re on a tiny stage in a shitty club or on a mainstage of a festival, they can cut it. It’s a slightly busy stage, with there now being eight live members (with Jessica moving to live percussion) and sometimes it can be tricky to know where to look next, the choreographed dancers, the violinists running around having fun, Rogue and his mountaineering exploits. Though, the set begins with Rogue winning boss level of stealth attack, he starts the show from the audience and NOBODY noticed him getting there – he just disappeared from the stage and appeared in the crowd. Rumours have it that Edward Snowden is writing to Rogue for tips on this. Not afraid to drop in tracks from their fantastic recent album ‘As the Dark Against My Halo’, the likes of ‘Halo’ and ‘Angelus Everlasting’ stand up nicely alongside longer serving hits like ‘Winterborn’ and ‘Birthday’. Alongside SM, it’s another uplifting band for a sunny afternoon, uplifting? Pah! It’s a Goth festival! ;-)

Mono Inc : would a change do good?
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
Some interesting developments from Mono Inc – their new album, ‘Nimmermehr’, marks a slight change in direction and ideas. Also, for the first time – they’re writing songs in German. At a time when they’d finally being make in-roads to the UK market! Though ‘Heile, Heile, Segen’ has the distinct Goth rawk of previous releases and it’s a pleasant surprise they wheel out Joachim Witt to duet on ‘Kein Weg Zu Weit’. Incidentally, they’ll be touring with the legendary new-wave singer in their tour later this year. Although the new material seems well received, it is of course the older material like ‘Voices of Doom’ and ‘Get Some Sleep’ that have the crowd in full voice – you can’t help but feel though that they’re on the beginnings of an important transfusion in their career, they wouldn’t be the first German band to hit a ceiling with their current direction and then change to reach a wider audience.

For some completely boggling reason Gothminster clash with Mono Inc. Boggling because when you go through the programme there’s a constant pattern throughout that the Hangar stage band starts as the main stage band finishes – for all bar GM who are already most way through their set when the masses come over from Mono Inc to see their theatrical horror Goth. If you saw our review of their set at Preston, it’s more of the same. Blood, zombies, chainsaws – and a few songs in there about darkness. It’s good, honest.

ASP : Not Sing-Childing any more
Photo by Christoph Eisenmenger
Deine Lakaien and ASP are both back to back on the main stage after this. Both draw large crowds eating out their hands. See above point under Mono Inc re: changing direction to reach a wider audience. Plenty of ballads and the likes.  ASP have even dropped ‘Sing Child’.

Saturday’s headliners are HIM – even Valo makes joke of how long it’s been since they last played. Hopefully this won’t signal them as being headliners every-other-year because that’s a trap ML had previously fallen into. The big surprise tonight, however, is how good HIM have become. Sure long-term fangirls/fanboys will argue they’ve always been the greatest band ever: but the past few years they’ve been painful to watch and even the early days, when they had only two albums (albeit, two strong albums) their sets were sometimes a little sloppy. 
Opening with ‘All Lips Go Blue’, the sound starts terrible and there’s a big question on if it’ll be another off-day for them, but this all seems to be down to sound problems on the stage which are swiftly resolved.
When, for the second song, Valo announces “The next one is a golden oldie” and then drops in ‘Buried Alive By Love’, a song from their 4th album (though – that is over ten years old!) you could be worried it’s mostly going to be the horrible rock shit they’ve been churning out in recent years – but, no...  it’s a large mix through the era’s – though three album tracks from ‘Love Metal’ seems a bit odd.    
‘Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly’ could easily be renamed ‘Rip Off The Songs Of The Mission’ but there are plenty of older tracks in there also, which understandably get huge responses – ‘Right Here in these Arms’, ‘It’s All Tears’ and ‘When Love And Death Embrace’ amongst the really old-school HIM tracks.
Since cleaning himself up, Valo’s voice is on top form and there’s a glow about them that right now they’re the slickest and best they’ve EVER been. It’s all luscious and bittersweet – and whilst purists might hate them, there are constant nods to bands like The Sisters and The Mission in their set.
Whilst putting them on could have been seen as a gamble – it’s certainly one that has returned dividends.

Part 2 to follow

Kevin Morris

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Alfa Matrix re-release Leaether Strip back catalogue

Belgian electro-label continue their series of digital back catalogue releases by adding thirteen album's and EPs by Leaether Strip to the label's Bandcamp page.

Included are:
  1. Retention no. 3
  2. Retention no.2
  3. Retention no.1
  4. Dark passages (OST) + Seasons change - I don't
  5. Mental Slavery (Bonus Tracks Version)
  6. Yes I'm limited V (Bonus Tracks Version)
  7. Aengelmaker (Bonus Tracks Version)
  8. Civil Disobedience (Bonus Tracks Version)
  9. The Giant Minutes To The Dawn (Bonus Tracks Version)
  10. Faetish (Bonus Tracks Version)
  11. Walking On Volcanos EP
  12. After The Devastation
  13. Suicide bombers EP

The releases are available as MP3 or FLAC downloads right now from the Alfa Matrix Bandcamp page. For more information on Leaether Strip, please visit the official website.

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